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Zambia offers to produce maize for Zimbabwe

Zambia offers to produce maize for Zimbabwe. Speaking during the launch of the traditional seeds input programme at Marymount in Rushinga District last week, Minister Shiri said everyone has a responsibility to ensure food security, hence the need for equitable and fair distribution of inputs.

Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri has called for the distribution of inputs to all deserving people regardless of political affiliation.

“As Zimbabweans, we should unite in ensuring food security and success of the growing of traditional seeds. Everyone should benefit regardless of political affiliation. Last year, we failed to realise a good harvest because of poor rains due to climate change. Having realised that climate change is wreaking havoc, we set down with experts you advised us to revert to traditional crops like millet, rapoko and sorghum. These crops are drought resistant and farmers are guaranteed of a harvest even when drought strikes,” said Minister Shiri.

He said it was everyone’s responsibility to ensure that Zimbabwe regains its breadbasket status.

“We are currently importing maize from Tanzania and South Africa. Zambia said we should sign an agreement with them for them to produce maize for us annually and we should not forget that we used to feed Zambia. So it is not possible for us to be fed by other nations when we have the capacity to produce our own food.

Food security should start at household levels and that is why we are rolling out these inputs distribution programmes. As farmers, you should also ensure that you also invest in your ventures. You should be prepared to sell your chickens and goats for you to buy pesticides that kills all pests that attacks your crops,” he said.

Minister Shiri added: “You can grow other crops like maize and cotton, but every household should have land reserved for traditional crops.” Under the traditional seeds input scheme, every farmer will receive 10kgs of seed, 50kg Compound D and 50kg Ammonium Nitrate fertiliser.

Minister Shiri called for the setting up of a satellite Grain Marketing Board depot at Marymount to reduce transport costs being incurred by farmers when transporting inputs and drought relief food from Rushinga.

“We should have a satellite depot here to cater for villagers around border areas like this. I have been told that you are having transport challenges to carry inputs and grain from Rushinga which is near Mt Darwin, so I am urging GMB to set up a satellite depot here.

Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company

I am also imploring on the District Development Fund as well as the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to also come on board and assist in transporting inputs and grain to marginalised areas of our country,” he said.

Minister Shiri also called for the setting up of Silo shops in marginalised areas to ensure that villagers also have access to cheaper goods. Minister Shiri and his entourage also launched similar programmes at Chomutukutu and Chimhanda.

Source – The Herald

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